Switch version tested
Review code provided
Back in my iPhone days, I used to love snagging free games from the App Store to play on the toilet. One of those games was Random Heroes and it is finally available on Nintendo Switch. Each time a Woblyware game or clone was released I often wondered why Random Heroes wasn’t already on the eShop. The day is here and you can snag it for five bucks/pounds.
When referring to Woblyware clones it’s referring to the core elements that fit their games. 2D platformer with multiple characters and upgrades, along with collectables and hidden areas with simple but satisfying graphics. Alright, that’s it the review is over folks. Honestly… that’s it in a nutshell. Plenty of others have copied this simple format but I always recall Random Heroes doing it first, in a build that takes hours to finish. Run and gun through one hundred eight levels unlocking twenty-eight other characters to play as. The goal is to get three stars each level by finding hidden coins, not getting hit, and defeating all enemies. Although this is a goal of some sort it’s not required by any means.
A wonderful feature of Random Heroes is being able to access the shop from the pause menu, I love that. Taking the time to kill every enemy is worth it because it takes a lot of saving up to get sweet guns. Pick a favourite gun and just save up for it unless you get to a point where your P shooter can’t handle the enemy load. During gameplay, I tend to just hold down the fire button but the sound of shells popping off can get rather annoying, if not for yourself then for those around you. Background music is fun and upbeat, pretty enjoyable although the shots can be distracting. It’s only on the main screen of the game the player has the option to turn off sounds completely. I would have preferred the option to turn down the sound of my shots only, and possibly turn up the tunes.
Three hits is all it takes to bite the dust but medkits can be found scattered about the levels. To boost the health bar, find crystal skulls strewn about random levels. I believe I found three in total by the end of the game. Baddies will shoot automatically as long as you stand in their way of fire but their movements typically stay the same. Small and medium minions will run left until they hit a wall then run right, repeat. Some flying enemies are more like homing devices that introduce some real danger which makes for more fun. Overall the enemies don’t make for a difficult time, maybe some slight frustrations here and there but likely associated with rushing the level.
Sadly the boss battles don’t provide any sort of meat and potatoes for this meal. Just as the smaller bad guys, they have a set cycle of attacks and movements that repeat until you bring them down. Typically these battles are the peak of games but that’s not the case for Random Heroes. I enjoyed the larger character designs that show off great ‘sprite’ work if you will, they look amazing. More bark than bite here I suppose.
Background design shows layers of wonderfully built areas that make the foreground look like a dull dump. Jumping around dark bricks repeatedly gets boring quickly and is not offset by the awesome backgrounds. The depth and colours are a grand display of artistry, I just wish that was extended to the areas in-game. Spikes, landmines, puddles, and those not-so-hidden walls are all that’s able to be explored.
It wasn’t until I beat the game that I realised I never changed characters, so I have no idea how they are unlocked. Once I saw the list of people to choose from it was apparent that all were unlocked. I also have no idea if collecting the stars has anything to do with this but I had 136 in total. Each person has different health, speed, and damage. This is useless to me now but if the shop is in the pause menu in-game, I don’t see why the character option wouldn’t be as well.
It was cool to relive the toilet playing days of Random Heroes on Switch but I was not too relieved during this experience. I have no idea why it’s the gold edition. The thumbnail does not match the game at all. In my mind, this game should have been the first of its kind on Switch over the related releases. It didn’t take too long to complete but I didn’t enjoy it for long.
TBG Score: 5/10
Platform: Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 03/04/2020
No. of Players: 1
Category: Shooter, Platformer, Arcade
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Download link: eShop